Trump impeachment defense team gets a last-minute makeover

Former President Donald Trump is making some last-minute changes to the legal team that will defend him at the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

Breitbart reports that Trump has added new members to his legal defense team after several other members of the team decided to leave. 

The departures

It was over the weekend that outlets reported that several members of Trump’s impeachment trial defense team were bowing out.

One of the individuals who left was Butch Bowers, a South Carolina lawyer who Politico described as Trump’s “top impeachment lawyer.” He was joined by Deborah Barbier, another South Carolina lawyer.

CNN published a report of its own claiming that there were two other departures: Johnn Gasser and Greg Harris. These individuals also are reported to be South Carolina lawyers.

CNN provided some insight as to why these individuals suddenly decided to step down. The outlet writes:

A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office.

The additions

On Sunday, news outlets reported that Trump named new members to his defense team. The reports were based on an announcement that came from Trump’s newly established communications office.

“45th President Donald J. Trump today announced that highly respected trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., will head his impeachment defense legal team, bringing national profiles and significant trial experience in high-profile cases to the effort,” the announcement reads.

According to the Epoch TimesSchoen is an attorney from Alabama and Castor is a former prosecutor from Pennsylvania.

Trump’s announcement included statements from both men. Schoen said that “it is an honor to represent the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, and the United States Constitution.” Castor added:

I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th President. The strength of our Constitution is about to be tested like never beofre in our history. It is strong and resilient. A document written for the ages, and it will triumph over partisanship yet again, and always.”

Looking ahead

Breitbart reports that the first legal filing for the Senate impeachment trial of Trump is Tuesday, while the trial itself is expected to get going during the week of February 8th.

Trump stands accused of inciting an insurrection, that is of being responsible for the riot that took place at the Capitol building on January 6th. The defense team is expected to make several strong arguments including that it is unconstitutional to impeach a former president.

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